Last weeks club game and another outing for the Empire using 9th Age rules, this time against Ian's Orc Army. (I wasn't about to waste my time against his Ogre's again :-) ).
Standard 4,500pt game with standard deployment a a secondary objective of Holding (scoring units nearest the centre of the field marked by a small rise/hill in the centre of the table).
I went for a fairly low-key line up with a beefed up knightly contingent and additional Priest (mounted and accompanying the general) and ditching the Swordsmen from my previous list as being totally useless in the current lists.
Ian (worryingly out numbering me again) also had a pretty standard Orc Line-up but with some knightly tin-openers in the guise of a unit of tooled up Boar-Boyz and four Bolt Throwers, he also added in a couple of his usual Squid Mangler annoyances just for good measure.
The proceedings went much as we both had guessed things would but hoped they wouldn't, if you know what I mean.
The Empire generally advanced with the right flank cavalry and supporting Flagellants moving out and followed up with some fairly ineffectual artillery shooting and the Orcs in turn did much the same with Ian's Tin-openers moving towards the Knights but his bolt throwers with their 'Piecing 6' ability having slightly more effect than my paultry Str 10 Cannons, but his Lobber doing little to no effect.
The second round saw the first major blood spatter, as it usually does. The Empire General and his retinue charged the Wolf Riders to his fore which of course fled and I redirected into the first of the Squig Mangler things. Ouch I foolishly assumed charging this monstrosity would negate the worst of it's multi-wound ability. Wrong It still does what it does but at least it dies automatically but the General was down his entire unit with only his buddy priest to keep him company. The other unit of knights are beaten up badly by the Boar Riders and flee with an on-going pursuit dragging the nasties away from the fight.
On the other flank the Pistoliers (Reiters) blow the Ian's other unit of Wolf Riders to pieces which don't break 'yet' but try and pull the riders out of position. The rest of the Empire move forward to try and occupy the board centre for the secondary objective.
The Other Squig mangler moves 'randomly' through my unit of Halberdier's inflicting several casualties but reduced by a fortuitous ward save and continues on it's merry way, dodging cannon balls.
The General and his mate are charged by the large unit of Orcy types and with overwhelming numbers on the combat resolution he breaks. The priest is subsequently shot by one of the Bolt Throwers.
|Round Four Empire|
The Third round saw things change a bit, The Wolf Riders on the left flank were destroyed and the Pistoliers moving round to annoy the now exposed flank of the orcs, with the un-bloodied Halberd unit moving round to threaten this flank.
The Imperial guard and central Halberds moved to occupy the centre and hold this while the Squig Mangler continued his depredations now hitting the Guard and causing a couple of casualties.
The Boar Boyz continued their pursuit eventually chasing the knights off the table, losing a couple of their number to artillery fire, and the other Wolf riders moved to wards the flank Cannon to stop its firing.
The Flagellants tore through the big unit of Orcs and destroyed them in pursuit and continued into the first of the Bolt Throwers on the hill.
The Empire General Rallied but didn't do much else in the battle other than draw out the Goblin Hero type on the Wyvern that moved out from the corner to avoid getting trampled on by the Flagellents rampage.
|End Round Four|
The fourth and final round saw little in the way of blood bath, the Boar boyz returned to the table after their pursuit and the Empire Artillery crew held the unit of Wolf Riders to a draw in melee.
The Flagellants destroyed another two of the bolt throwers and the Pistoliers continued to annoy the flank of the Orcs and the Squig Mangler avoided any further shooting attempts manfully.
Beaten on time once again, Ian declared the game a marginal Empire Victory due to the exposed Orc position and the Empire in possession of the 'objective' of the centre of the board. Both forces were still viable but the Orcs were a bit spread with both flanks exposed, the Empire, I felt would need to be quite lucky with the dice to be able to overcome the usual Orc toughness but I'll take the win however slim.
Interesting game with once again, the artillery rules not being favoured. I detest the Squig Mangler thing, but that's just a game thing. I did think the points costs for effectiveness a bit lopsided, ie cheaper Bolt Throwers for more bang, 90 pts versus 100 for pretty much guaranteed kill but fairly minor really.
Ian is not hugely keen on the Orcs under 9th Age, as there is no incentive from his point of view to play in character and get his orcs charging as the Initiative (the same as 8th Ed) rule means more often than not he is going to go second in combat so he's as well waiting for the enemy to come to him. I don't see this as a major problem for him as the Empire doesn't usually hit hard enough that his response isn't going to get him the advantage.
Magic was low key again with the empire priests only getting a couple of buffs off and the Orc Shaman being quite ineffectual too, narrowly avoiding blowing himself up.
A fun enough game with only a couple of niggles which always come as part of WHFB Age, just would have been nice to get a to a definitive conclusion, but hey-ho!